Kyle Bagenstose reports for the Burlington County Times:
|Mirror Lake in the Browns Mills section of Pemberton, NJ Burlco Times photo|Last week, the NJDEP released a study finding fish near the bases could be contaminated with enough chemicals to harm residents who catch and eat them. However, military officials say there are no immediate plans to test fish near Pennsylvania and New Jersey bases.
But Navy officials in Pennsylvania said they’ll continue to work with regulators to “evaluate” potential ways which humans could be exposed to the chemicals.
In mid-July, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection released fish consumption advisories based on a study of the state’s Fish for perfluorinated compounds or PFAS. The toxic chemicals are being found in water systems across the country after being used for decades in a variety of consumer and industrial products. They were also used in military-grade firefighting foams, and have been found in large amounts at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, as well as a trio of former and current bases in Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania.
The chemicals are not regulated at the federal level. That leaves states such as New Jersey to conduct much of their own research into potential health risks. As a part of that effort, New Jersey studied fish in about a dozen lakes and creeks near sites of suspected PFAS contamination to assess how much of the chemicals had been built up in their bodies. Lakes near the joint base showed the highest levels of the chemicals of anywhere in the state, leading the NJDEP to recommend limiting fish consumption to just one meal a season or year, depending on the species.
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